Leveraging the OGC Innovation Program to Advance Big Data Spokes

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Big Data aids in Health

The National Science Foundation (NSF) currently has an open program solicitation that seeks to establish more ‘Big Data Spokes’ to advance Big Data Applications. Like the BD Hubs, the BD Spokes will provide a regional coordinating role but they will focus on narrower topic areas, such as applications concerning the acquisition and use of health data, or data science in agriculture, among others. In addition to its topic area, spokes will be driven by three themes: 1) advance solutions towards a grand challenge, 2) automate the Big Data lifecycle, and 3) improve and incentivise access to critical data.

Using the Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) Innovation Process could help Big Data Spokes advance a solution to better integrate and run analytics on data sets using technologies that are not only freely available and ‘open’, but that are also maintained by an established Standards Development Organization (SDO). OGC also has various domain working groups currently advancing solutions that would complement the work done in Big Data Hubs.

The OGC is an international voluntary SDO that provides a broad interface with over 500 industry, government, academia, and research organizations engaged in advancing standards to improve geospatial interoperability. OGC’s standards are implemented in hundreds of products to improve the discovery, sharing, access, fusion, and application of location-based information. In addition to its proven consensus process for advancing open standards, OGC - via its Innovation Program - provides a venue in which to prototype in an agile, collaborative environment. It has developed more than 90 initiatives in the last 17 years.

OGC’s Innovation Program Initiatives have helped advance technology solutions that deal with important challenges, such as those rising from continued population increase. Most recently, OGC’s Future City Pilot Initiative created technologies that aid in the provision of adult health services using multi-source data analytics (you can learn more in this 5 minute video on OGC’s Future City Pilot).

An OGC initiative could help prototype and design a solution for Big Data Spokes, based on open standards, that could be further implemented in a Data Hub. An OGC initiative has five phases:

  • Phase 1 - Concept Development: OGC gathers requirements and proposes an initial systems architecture.
  • Phase 2 - Call for Participation (CFP): OGC publicly invites industry and non-industry organizations worldwide to participate in the Initiative to develop the components of the architecture.
  • Phase 3 - Team Formation and Kick-off: The OGC evaluation team selects participants. Selected participants meet face to face at the initiative kick-off meeting to coordinate on the development, testing, and demonstration process.
  • Phase 4 - Execution: Participants engage virtually through frequent teleconferences, net meetings, and email exchanges to discuss progress and to identify and resolve issues.
  • Phase 5 - Reporting, Demonstration and Outreach: Technology demonstrations occur at the end of the Initiative to showcase the major accomplishments. Engineering reports and other artifacts are written that identify and summarize the resulting technologies.

The completion of such an initiative would result in a proven solution that can be implemented in a Big Data Hub to help automate Big Data lifecycles, and support, for example, Smart Cities or Health related challenges.

If you want to learn more about how to partner with OGC for the NSF Big Data Spokes, or other solicitations, please contact Luis Bermudez, Executive Director of the OGC Innovation Program (lbermudez at opengeosptial.org).